35 Cath. U. L. Rev. 79 (1985-1986)
The House of Truth: Home of the Young Frankfurter and Lippman

handle is hein.journals/cathu35 and id is 91 raw text is: THE HOUSE OF TRUTH: HOME OF THE YOUNG
FRANKFURTER AND LIPPMANN
Jeffrey O'Connell*
and Nancy Dart**
Between 1911 and 1920, Washington, D.C. was home to a group of attrac-
tive young lawyers, journalists, and government workers who lived together
in what became known as the House of Truth. The house, now painted
white, is still standing in the Northwest section of Washington at 1727 Nine-
teenth Street. Among the residents were the young Felix Frankfurter and
Walter Lippmann joined by many other brilliant contemporaries. All these
young men shared a passion for politics and a love of entertaining: their
association with one another and with many of the most influential figures of
the day provides a fascinating footnote to legal and political history.
It is unclear who dubbed the residence the House of Truth. While sev-
eral sources attribute the name to Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., a fre-
quent visitor, Frankfurter could not recall just where the title came from.
One resident referred to the title as a mocking nickname . . . which some
humourist conferred upon us.1 In any event, the name stuck because, ac-
cording to Frankfurter, the house was a place where truth was sought, and
everybody knew it couldn't be found, but even trying to seek the truth con-
scientiously is a rare occupation in this world.2
The house was small, with bedrooms upstairs and rooms for entertaining
downstairs. From the entryway, a small hall led into a rather large room
that functioned both as a dining room and a living room.3 Before meals
were served, the residents and their guests gathered at one end of the room,
which was dominated by a large couch capable of seating seven or eight
people. A writing desk stood beyond the couch. Meals were eaten at the
dining room table in the comer of the room nearest the entrance. After
dinner, guests and hosts continued their conversations in the area of the
* John Allan Love Professor of Law, University of Virginia; A.B. 1951, Dartmouth
College; J.D. 1954, Harvard University.
** Associate Director of Placement, University of Bridgeport School of Law; A.B. 1979,
Wellesley College; J.D. 1984, University of Virginia Law School.
1. E. PERCY, SOME MEMORIES 40 (1958).
2. H. PHILLIPS, FELIX FRANKFURTER REMINISCES 107 (1960).
3. Id. at 110.

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